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ECPA Wire: Industry News

The Bestselling Books of 2016

Saturday, January 7, 2017  
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by Stan Jantz, ECPA executive director

It’s a new day and a New Year, but before we turn our attention to 2017, let’s look at the TOP 100 BESTSELLERS OF 2016, based on data compiled by Nielsen’s BookScan.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines (Thomas Nelson) was the story of 2016. Although it was released in the fourth quarter, the book by HGTV’s Fixer Upper couple earned the top spot in the year’s Top 100 Bestsellers list.

Two other fourth quarter releases, Jesus Always by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) and Shaken by Tim Tebow (WaterBrook) cracked the Top 10 at #3 and #8 respectively. Coming in at #4 was Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages (Moody Publishers), which was first published when Tim Tebow was just 12 years old (talk about staying power)! With nine books, Sarah Young had the most number of titles in the Top 100.

Showing the strength of the children’s book market, 24 of the Top 100 books overall for 2016 were children’s titles. Another seven were coloring books. The #1 children’s title in the Top 25 Children’s list was The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones (Zonderkidz). Patricia Pingry (Ideals/Worthy) placed four titles on the list, followed closely by Lisa Tawn Bergren (WaterBrook) and Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) with three and two books respectively.

2016 was a strong year for Christian fiction, with Jonathan Cahn’s Book of Mysteries (Frontline) coming in at #1 in the Top 25 Fiction list.  A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury (Howard Books), released in the fourth quarter, was #2.

One of the biggest stories of 2017 is sure to be the release of The Shack movie on March 3rd. The Shack by William Paul Young (Windblown Media) has sold more than 20 million copies, and it shows no signs of slowing down. There are four different editions of The Shack in the Top 25 fiction list for 2016, including a special movie tie-in. William Paul Young’s Eve (Howard Books) held the #15 position. Wanda Brunstetter (Barbour Publishing) and Karen Kingsbury (Howard Books) placed four and three books in the Top 25 fiction list respectively.

The top selling Bible in 2016 was the NLT Inspire Bible (Tyndale), which was the only Bible over $10 in the Top 100 list. The top selling study Bible was the ESV Study Bible, which came in at #9.

Congratulations to all the authors and publishers whose books placed in the 2016 ECPA Christian Bestseller list

Each title represents a significant investment in every part of the publishing process—editorial, design, production, marketing, and reader engagement—and the sales of these bestselling books represent millions of readers whose lives are being changed by the power of the Word.

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